Amazon Says It Puts Customers First. But Its Pricing Algorithm Doesn’t.
Unseen and almost wholly unregulated, algorithms play an increasingly important role in broad swaths of American life. Read More
Instagram Posts May Have Escalated Fatal Standoff, Police Say
The episode highlights Facebook’s increasingly complicated role in documenting violence, and in some cases, its active place in the middle of it. Before the shots were fired, the Instagram posts caught the police’s attention. Read More
After building online communities for two decades, we’ve learned how to fight abuse. It’s a solvable problem. We just have to stop repeating the same myths as excuses not to fix things.
+Commentary: This is a great read…and necessary, since constant reinforcement of this idea demands disabusing the trope that we should just “ignore it” for it to go away is utterly insane. It hasn’t worked, and frequently leads to business lost, a damaged brand, a reduction in ability to provide for yourself or family. It can at times even be physically violent & threatening. This not only affects the people who are targeted but will extend to those they love, the businesses they work at, and other tertiary lives.
User Experience is an increasingly expansive discipline but the key concepts remain largely the same. These are some of the main things that contribute to the UX of your site and the things you need to consider when implementing a UX strategy.
(follow the link below to read each of these principles explained)
On March 15th, Instagram announced that it would eventually be changing people’s feeds and no longer displaying images chronologically but rather in accordance with some proprietary algorithm. Instagram–now a division of Facebook–claimed that such a change would benefit users, because they miss about 70 percent of images in their feeds, according to the firm’s calculations. A change ensuring that people see the images they are most likely to appreciate, seems, at least at first glance, to be quite positive.
Welcome to the New Mother Jones
In keeping with that spirit, we’ve decided to celebrate our 40th anniversary with a new design. These days when a magazine overhauls its look, the process normally works something like this: A new editor or creative director walks in, decides whatever came before was crap, hires an outside design firm or three, commissions a custom typeface or maybe 10, gets a team of web designers and app developers to translate that vision to the digital space, and lines up some celebrity buzz, and many, many months later, voilà! A redesign is born. (continue reading at link below)
Why your news site should be more readable for the visually impaired
Over eight million Americans have trouble with their vision. Here’s how newsrooms can (and should) design with them in mind.
Yahoo-owned blogging platform Tumblr this morning announced two changes to its service designed to encourage more conversations and increase engagement around posts and other content. The company is bringing back its Replies feature, removed several months ago, and it’s rolling out an updated Notes design that makes it easier for the community to follow the commentary around a post.
Expect a more thorough analysis to follow, this made us laugh in the debate of Instagram’s new algorithmic timeline/feed. Currently we are enjoying the humorous reactions to the change. Not unlike previous ones, but funny because IG is the darling for everyone except us!
Rapid growth in the “Internet of Things” space means two things. First, it means that everything we own will soon be Internet-connected. Second, it means that hackers will soon have access to everything we own, by virtue of it all being Internet-connected.
+Commentary: This is the sort of Listicle where ZDnet does its best to be Buzzfeed for nerds & hackers. Or your friendly neighborhood IT Director probably really is worried about this line of inquiry, but I’m not so sure that the 87% who don’t even understand IoT, let alone adopt it, even do. So let’s talk about what they won’t, shall we?
Facebook is eating the world
Here is a definite must-read for everyone. Pondering the long-term viability of publishing when they are no longer in control of the distribution channels. How you get to read or who gets to decide what you see?
Our news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years than perhaps at any time in the past five hundred. We are seeing huge leaps in technical capability—virtual reality, live video, artificially intelligent news bots, instant messaging, and chat apps. We are seeing massive changes in control, and finance, putting the future of our publishing ecosystem into the hands of a few, who now control the destiny of many.
Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security. The phone in our pocket is our portal to the world.
Top 9 Features Consumers Want On Mobile [Infographic]
When creating a mobile website you think of typography and decide not to experiment with font colors and types. You carefully select content that would engage and entertain. You even predict your vis…
Improved timeline or ruined experience?
Online abuse can be cruel – but for some tech companies it is an existential threat. Can giants such as Facebook use behavioural psychology and persuasive design to tame the trolls? [8 Minute Read]
The question almost never comes up anymore: why optimize performance? It’s rarely asked because there’s an abundance of data proving that optimization has an impact on crucial metrics like conversion rate and engagement. […read the rest at the link below]
Summary: A good friendship or romantic partnership takes work. The same goes for customer relationships. Today’s consumers are looking for brands with experiences that feel personalized and effortless and will last long beyond the transaction. Great customer service keeps your customer relationships strong. And it can keep the love (of your brand) alive.
Fan Is A Tool-Using Animal
Below are some highlights of the talk, or take-away points to the talk that seemed to be far-reaching when dealing with social media. Read the whole thing by clicking the picture above or following the link at the bottom. Read More
“The more users’ expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it.”
The 8 Most Annoying Things People Do With Their Phones
I’m not entirely sure when it became acceptable to use a speakerphone in public, but in the last week I’ve witnessed three people hold entire conversations through the speaker on their mobile phone, without caring who was listening. In one instance, I was on the subway when the woman’s phone rang. She answered it, and began a discussion with the person on the other end about where they were going to dinner that evening. Just FYI, they decided not to go out.
Here is the complete list:
- Making calls on speakerphone: 53 percent
- Playing music/games/videos without headphones: 47 percent
- Taking photos/videos of strangers: 42 percent
- Making calls while in a restaurant: 36 percent
- Video calls/FaceTime/Skype: 27 percent
- Loud mobile device alerts: 26 percent
- Messaging/emailing at seated performance/activity: 24 percent
- Photographing food during meal: 18 percent
Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.
+Commentary: This is a great longform article that deconstructs the very notion of what good design is supposed to be & represent. It also focuses on the shift to touch and portables that demand a completely different framework. Many of the things pointed out in the article are things experienced first hand, while teaching the horde of new converts to Apple products (especially those at the older end of the spectrum) how to use them. Read More
I try to save the most over-used of clichés for special moments, and that’s exactly what this week feels like for Twitter. You may disagree, of course — Wall Street does, having driven the stock down yesterday to just a dollar above its IPO price (and 38% down from its first day close) — but that’s why the cliché works: things may seem dark, but I’m optimistic that the horizon has just the slightest glimmer of light.
Long time readers know that while I love and value the product, I’m no Twitter fanboy. The company’s user retention issues were apparent well before the IPO, and the company had a clear product problem that, ultimately and correctly, cost CEO Dick Costolo his job.
[…] Read More
The theory of games is that players will pursue the finish line if the journey is rewarding and pleasant. Gamification encapsulates that experience and uses it to drive results. Make the journey a stimulating one, and your users are more likely to seek out the end of that road (wherever you want them to be). Right now, users are online for a number of reasons: social, education, shopping, entertainment, the list goes on! Though these purposes vary, the one thing they have in common is that users must interact with a UI (user interface) to achieve gratification. As a business or website owner, you want as many users using your website for as long as possible. That goal comes with two expectations: that your UI is simple/intuitive, and that it’s satisfying.
Gamification is a good way to tackle the ‘satisfying’ aspect of your UI. If an experience is fun and rewarding, users will stay engaged and complete navigational tasks by nature. These rewards can take the form of slick animations, illustrations, custom messages, progression achievements and so much more. Higher forms of gamification even take on progress bars, badges (community forums are a good example), and leaderboards – all of which encourage return traffic and time investments before you even begin writing content! That incentive to explore and interact can (and will, if executed well) make the process of navigating any website feel natural, and therefore invisible, which affords your site some complexities that might have been impractical otherwise.
Source: Gamification | Headspace Design
Jakob’s Law of the Web User Experience states that “users spend most of their time on other websites.” This means that they form their expectations for your site based on what’s commonly done on most other sites. If you deviate, your site will be harder to use and users will leave.
Source: Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design